The market for the 5G mobile communications standard is growing. Just like the Internet of Things (IoT), high-speed data transmission also requires a comparatively new network technology – so-called edge computing. Why is this important for 5G.
A recent study by Vertiv, which was carried out together with technology analysts, concludes that edge computing is an important growth market for network operators, especially in connection with the 5G expansion. By merging existing networks with existing cell towers, central locations, and edge data centers, platforms can be built for the development of new edge services.
It is therefore not surprising that 36 percent of the interviewees in the study attribute the most important role to network operators when it comes to new sales opportunities with edge computing. The prefabricated modular data centers (PFM) in particular will be the focus for network operators when providing future edge infrastructures. But what is Edge anyway and why is this technology so important for 5G expansion.
Edge As A Driver Of Digitization
Edge computing is first and foremost a decentrally organized data processing. This takes place directly at the edge of the network, the so-called edge. This means that the data is generated and processed directly in the network periphery. The different edge types can be divided into three categories, which are defined according to the respective areas of application:
- Legacy Edge: This category describes local data processing that takes place directly at companies in individual branches or locations. These are, for example, small data centers that only provide their performance for on-site use, or individual servers. A change is currently taking place here because more and more of these solutions are either being migrated to the cloud or being replaced by colocation providers as part of “as-a-service” offers.
- Geographic Edge: The so-called content delivery networks and cloud services can be classified here. In most cases, these are hosted in colocation data centers. These are usually located where the data is needed, i.e. close to large cities or metropolitan areas.
- Dynamic Edge: This category primarily contains devices in the Internet of Things, but also the individual sensors of a smart city or wearables such as smartwatches. Since these devices are usually only connected to the Internet on a mobile basis but are becoming more and more complex at the same time, they rely on corresponding data connections, so they benefit massively from the current expansion of 5G mobile radio.
The Network Edge Becomes The Center Of Computing
The workload is currently shifting more and more to where the computing power is needed directly – i.e. to the edge of the network. Accordingly, the need for collocation offers as well as for own edge computing solutions directly at the companies is increasing. The companies are currently investing heavily in the provision of computing capacity at the edge. Because if you bring data processing directly to users, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and position yourself in the market as a pioneer of digitization.
Another study by Vertiv from 2019 shows that there is a need for edge computing. This survey of more than 800 IT professionals had shown that 53 percent expect the edge market to double within the next five years. One in five even anticipates growth of 400 percent and more.
This is also an opportunity for the sales partners, who can offer additional added value through their specialist knowledge and practical experience. Because the edge units usually function like small data centers – which means that they have to be set up by appropriately trained specialist personnel and, ideally, they have to be administered remotely.
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